5 Healthy BBQ Swaps

I'm sure you've been enjoying this glorious summer weather as I have, and these long warm evenings mean only one thing: it's BBQ season! Getting together for an alfresco meal with your friends and family is one of the best things to do in the summer, but BBQs can spell trouble when it comes to your diet. Here, I've rounded up five of the foods to avoid at your next BBQ, and given healthy, tasty alternatives to help you stay on track.

Avoid: Burnt and processed meats

Healthy Food Swap: Say no to cheap sausages that are black on the outside and pink on the inside at your next BBQ. Instead, swap them for delicious fish skewers made with monkfish (rich in selenium) or salmon and mackerel (rich in omega-3 fatty acids). Layer with tasty vegetables like red peppers (a great source of vitamin C) and onions. Make a few meat and fish-free options for vegetarian / vegan guests.

Try: This fish skewers recipe 

Avoid: High GI carbs like potato and pasta salads

Healthy Food Swap: Replace your pasta and potato salads for lighter salads. Try a tasty tomato, avocado and basil salad dressed with olive oil. This tomato and avo combo is nutrient dense, delicious and refreshing in the hot weather. 

Try: This tomato and shallot salad 

Avoid: White bread rolls

Healthy Food Swap: Ditch buttery brioche rolls and serve meats and fish from the BBQ on a quinoa or wild rice based salad. Quinoa makes a great base for BBQ salads, and is a good source of protein, iron and potassium.

Try: This wild rice salad recipe 

Avoid: Ice cream

Healthy Food Swap: Instead of large scoop of ice cream for dessert, try making your own healthy version using frozen banana slices blended with peanut butter and almond milk. This ‘nice cream' is easy to make and just as tasty and refreshing as the real deal. Alternatively, get a little more mileage out of your BBQ and coat some pineapple slices in cinnamon before roasting them on the grill – delicious!

Try: This banana and peanut butter nice cream recipe 

Avoid: Fizzy drinks

Healthy Food Swap: Rather than keeping guests hydrated with bottles of caffeinated fizzy drinks and sugary flavoured water, make pitchers of iced fruit water (lemon, mint, raspberry and cucumber all work well) to keep everyone happy. Or why not try homemade iced tea? T2 has a host of fruity flavours that work perfectly, and they even make dedicated iced tea jugs for sharing. Just add plenty of fruit to make it look and taste extra special.

Try: These iced tea making tips 

So, make sure these BBQ food swaps are on the menu if you're playing host this summer, or RSVP to your next BBQ invite with an offer to bring supplies; these healthy, seasonal options are sure to go down a treat with everyone.

You might also like to read… 8 Tips for Healthier Restaurant Dining